Blog: Online shopping: Not just for groceries!

Published:7th June 2013

A decade or so ago when I noticed that more and more people were trying to sell their wares online I had a thought that it might be worth investing in shares in the big parcel delivery firms. After all, surely that’s the main benefit of shopping online – not having to get in your car, on the bus or fight through the crowds to get what you’re after. Sure enough mergers and acquisitions have been a feature of the parcel delivery business ever since, although of course I never got round to buying those shares!

Sticking to the day job, it is interesting to consider that online shopping doesn’t need to be restricted to getting your weekly groceries (along with a few items you’re sure you never ordered) delivered to your door. If you are going to buy a holiday, a house, a song – or even a new partner – where would you start? Nowadays there is an online ‘shop’ for just about everything, especially if it is something that can be accessed online.

Everything except, it seems, impact measurement tools… even digital ones!

So Inspiring Impact is trying to do something about that and, through Substance, we are developing what we like to think of as an online market place, where the sector can access, exchange, discuss and review the best quality data, tools and systems.

Having researched and tested the feasibility of a range of different options we have now designed a simple prototype of what the site might look like, the type of content it might present and the possible user flow through it. We want to get it right so won’t actually be building anything until we are sure we know people will want to visit and shop in it. Whilst we have already had lots of feedback from our consultations to date we want to cast the net as widely as possible and would love it if you could find the time to do a bit of window shopping.

We would be delighted to have your input, whether you have something to say about:

  • The choice of filters and categories
  • The headline and secondary information presented about the tools
  • The opportunities to provide feedback
  • How information might be maintained
  • Something else altogether

In keeping with the digital theme, on the prototype site, where you can navigate through the proposed pages using the tabs at the bottom, we have included options to post and vote up or down comments. If you have a Google, Facebook, Twitter or Disqus account just sign in by clicking the relevant icon. If you don’t it’s easy enough to register with Disqus on the site. Alternatively you can always contact substance directly at

Happy shopping!

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